ID card Automation in Photoshop

Through this post I wish to share a method to automate procedures in Photoshop. To illustrate the method I have used an ID card design. With this method, using just one design of the Id card you can export as many files, with different names and department combinations as required.

To do so you require a list of the variables, Name and Department in my case in a tab separated text file as shown in the image.


The following is the design for the Id card I have used. In my case I will be changing the Lorem Ipsum and  Department Name fields, but you can do that to as many variables as the number of layers you have. Please note that the text inside the Name layer is Lorem Ipsum.


To start the process, we need to tell Photoshop which text layers we wish to define as variable fields. For doing to that go to Image->Variables->Define…

In the dialog box that appears,  choose the Layer you wish to set as a variable from the Layer Drop Down, in this case Name and click the checkbox next to Text Replacement. In the text field, insert the name of the column you have set in your text file, Name in this case. Do the same for each layer you wish to set as a variable. After each layer is set as a variable, an asterisk appears next to the Layer name, in the drop down.

Tut_0008_Layer 2


Next we have to tell Photoshop, where to take the values, to be set to the text layers from.  To do so, go to Layer->Define->Datasets and click on the Import button.  In the dialog box  that appears, click on Select File and locate the text file on your disk. and click OK. If there are any errors, make sure the variable names in your text file and Data sets match. If any errors persist, check the data in your text file, if it is complete and tab separated.

Tut_0003_Layer 7

Next we need to render all these Data Sets into separate files. At this stage we actually require the files to be rendered in the  jpeg or png file format. But Photoshop doesn’t have a functionality to do so directly. Photoshop lets you render these files as psds and then to jpegs.
Next go to File->Export->Datasets as Files… In the dialog box that follows, locate a folder to store the psds.

Tut_0001_Layer 9

Now we need to render the psd files as jpeg images. Go to File->Scripts->Image Processor. In the dialog box Select the folder containing the psds and a folder for the location of the jpegs. Click Run and VOILA!

Tut_0000_Layer 10


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